The members of Karate’s decision-making body raised their White Cards as a symbol of the positive power of sport for peace and social inclusion. The action was held Wednesday during the virtual meeting of the WKF Executive Committee. WKF President Antonio Espinós headed the demonstration that completes Karate’s many activities around April 6.
“Once again we are holding the #WhiteCard as a symbol of unity and global cooperation. The Karate community has proven their engagement with social issues by massively joining the April6 campaign. Our Karate Values and their strong links with the ideals behind the #WhiteCard movement are again displayed. We are pleased to play a relevant role in the celebrations of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, and we are delighted to have the organisation ‘Peace & Sport’ as our main partner in social issues,” said WKF President Antonio Espinós.
Members of the group representing all the karatekas in the world are spearheading Karate’s participation in the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP).
As a demonstration of these Karate Values, the Athletes’ Commission of the World Karate Federation is joining the campaign as the representatives of all the Karate athletes are holding their white card.
Douglas Brose of Brazil, Antonio Diaz of Venezuela, Rio Kiyuna of Japan and Vassiliki Panetsidou of Greece are posting their pictures with the #WhiteCard. The commission is also formed by Nguyen Hoang Ngan of Vietnam and is headed by chairman Davide Benetello of Italy. A former World champion and Karate legend, and member of the WKF Executive Committee, Benetello is leading the celebrations of the #WhiteCard showcasing Karate’s strong ties with social issues.
“Karate may be a fight sport but we are constantly sending the message that respect and friendship are among our strongest values. This is evidenced by the ‘Rei’ (bow) that we always do before and after each bout and by the fact that we always embrace our opponent once that the fight is over,” said WKF Athletes’ Commission chairman Davide Benetello.
“This season is extremely important for the Karate world since we are heading to our debut in the Olympic Games, and we have our World Championships later this year. It is our goal to spread a message of peace around the world and for that, we have all the members of the Athletes Commission who represent so many different countries and different continents actively involved in this mission,” adds Benetello.
“I am committed to contributing to the initiatives of sports diplomacy and field programmes, especially in Africa, with the essential support of the 100 ‘Champions for Peace’ to promote sport as a tool for dialogue as well as to achieve the objectives of peace,” said Fodé Ndao.
International coach and current head coach of the Senegal national teams, Fodé Ndao was selected Karate representative as ‘Peace & Sport’ ‘Champion for Peace’ for his contribution to the development of education and cohesion. The ‘Champions for Peace’ are a group of high-level sports icons personally committed to the movement of achieving peace through sport.
“To be a Champion of Peace for Peace and Sport means to bring together and develop partnerships between the world of peace, the world of sport and the political world,” states Ndao. “This is why I support these programmes and initiatives, even more considering the values of Karate and the strength of the WKF all over the world,” he adds.
The Karate world is joining the #WhiteCard campaign by posting their pictures with the white card on social media. Fodé Ndao reflects on the power of Karate as a tool to transmit educational values to people of all ages all over the world.
“Karate has strong educational, mediating, therapeutic and promotional principles that are extremely useful in social environments. I encourage all karatekas to get involved in social work as Karate is much more than a sport,” he adds.
The World Karate Federation has launched an online campaign to engage the Karate community in the celebration of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) on April 6.
Karate’s international governing body aims at involving the Karate world in joining the #WhiteCard campaign on April 6 and has called fans all over the world to post the pictures on social media.
Through communication to its National Federations and a specific section on its website, the WKF hopes that the thousands of enthusiasts of the sport will contribute to the success of the celebrations for April 6.
“Karate is the perfect sport to exemplify all the principles that the #WhiteCard campaign entails. Our sport is accessible to everyone, popular and well-known all over the world, and has a core philosophy that highlights the principles of the #WhiteCard campaign and April6,” said Douglas Brose.
“All the sports transmit positive principles but Karate, due to its philosophy, its discipline, and its tradition best represents the values of this campaign,” adds the two-time World Champion.
DOUGLAS BROSE INSTITUTE FOR CHILDREN
While fighting to make his Olympic dreams come true, Brose is also hoping to make the world a better place, especially children’s. Together with his wife Lucelia, Brose created the Douglas Brose Institute for Children, an organisation aiming to make a difference in children’s lives through the practice of sports.
“We have created a syllabus of sports activities to support children in their education. We use sports and Karate as tools to help youngsters to improve their development. Specifically, we are working with kids coming from challenging areas and at risk of social exclusion through Karate to improve their living conditions. Through the practice of Karate, we try to keep them away from bad environments and negative influences,” he said.
For Douglas and his wife, also a high-level karateka and coach, social responsibility and Karate go hand-in-hand.
“We have the opportunity to really help these kids. We can achieve their social inclusion through Karate. Our sport teaches extraordinary values who are extremely positive to these children and I believe that thanks to Karate, we can contribute to improving the social situation in my city,” states Brose who lives in the southern city of Florianopolis.